Testing Reformers React to Sec. Duncan's Call for "No Child" Revamp

for further information:
Dr. Monty Neill  (617) 477-9792                    
Bob Schaeffer   (239) 395-6773

 

for use with Secretary Arne Duncan Seaton Elementary Speech, Monday, January 12, 2015

REACTION TO SEC. DUNCAN’S CALL FOR “NO CHILD” REVAMP;
ASSESSMENT REFORMERS SAY REPEAL OF FED’S ANNUAL EXAM RULE
IS KEY TO REVERSING TYRANNY OF TESTING,
RESTORING CLIMATE FOR MORE LEARNING GROWTH AND GAP CLOSING

Responding to Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s speech at Seaton Elementary School in Washington DC this morning, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), a leader of the country’s assessment reform movement, issued the following statement:

“ No Child Left Behind (NCLB) must be replaced. However, Secretary Duncan’s diehard embrace of Washington’s test-every-kid-every-year requirement guarantees the continuation of policies that undermine teaching and learning.

“In fact, overall public school academic performance grew faster in the period before NCLB than in the decade after it went into effect, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. At the same time, gaps between demographic groups narrowed more rapidly. NCLB’s fixation on annual tests led to narrowed curriculum, incessant test prep and many cheating scandals.

“There is no need to test every year to monitor students and schools, evaluate teachers, or ensure educational opportunity. Better ways exist to measure learning and improve schools (http://fairtest.org/fact-sheet-better-way-evaluate-schools-pdf).  Administering standardized tests every several years, as was typical before NCLB, provides a sufficient check on educational quality and equity.”

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